It’s All Maya!

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Carlos Santana – A Musical/Spiritual Odyssey

April 3rd, 2015 · 2 Comments


I finished reading Carlos Santana’s autobiography/memoir, The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light. If you’re a Santana fan (And who isn’t?) this book is a must. The tone is all Carlos Santana and he tells his story the way he plays his guitar. His fingers slide from one note to the next, sometimes he lingers on a chord or a note for a few extra beats, then he moves up the frets and back down again jumping octaves. His story telling is no different.


From his childhood in Autlán, Mexico, to Woodstock in 1969, back to Tijuana as a kid, and on to San Francisco, Carlos moves from one part of his life to the next much like he would if the two of you were having a drink together, where one incident would remind him of something else, and then something else, and on and on. And you don’t care if you can’t keep the dates straight, this is Carlos Santana talking to you and you’re just happy to follow along.


There are moments of hilarity, moments of sadness, and moments of greatness. Carlos Santana talks openly about it all:  about his childhood in Mexico with his parents, his two brothers and four sisters, playing music with his dad’s band at the age of 11, the sexual abuse he suffered from an American tourist preying on young kids, the divorce his wife wanted after 34 years of marriage and he didn’t see it coming,  how the stars aligned so he ended up playing at Woodstock, and ultimately winning nine Grammys, including Album of the Year, for Supernatural.


His book reads like a Who’s Who in music. From rock stars to jazz legends to blues musicians, Carlos takes you on his musical odyssey. The hours spent locked away in a dark closet, just him and his guitar, so he could become one with his instrument, so he could find himself, his style, and his place as a musician. After reading his book, you can’t listen to his music the same way ever again. This is one of the great rockers of his generation and he left a mark for generations to come.


His music has stood the test of time. His style is unique and others have tried to copy him, but can’t. The group Santana went through many changes, musicians came and they went and they came back again, but the foundation remained the same. Listen to Samba Pa Ti, Moonflower, Europa, Black Magic Woman, etc., and the music is still as fresh today as the day it was first played. This book has 516 pages of his life and music, 32 pages of photos, but more so, it has a spiritual journey of one man who happens to be a great musician.


Maya Muses:  The only downside about this book is there’s an over abundance of names of musicians here. Some you’ll be familiar with, some you won’t. I knew about 95% of them (but I grew up in a musical family listening to all sorts of music) and still I thought it was a bit of an overload. Don’t let that stop you, there’s something here for anyone who’s a fan of Carlos Santana.

Photo Credits: Personal Photos, Woodstock, Grammys, CS on Guitar, CS Spiritual Path

Tags: Books and Reviews · Entertainment · Music Muses

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 AJ Blythe // Apr 4, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Hmm, might be the perfect book for my Dad’s upcoming birthday. Thanks for the review.

    Stopping by from QOTKU blog :)

  • 2 Lynn // Apr 13, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    If your dad’s a Santana fan, then I’m sure he’ll love it. Thanks for visiting, AJ. I’ll be sure to do the same when I get back home.

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